Connect with us

Uncategorized

Austin’s Grand Prix lawsuit settled: Race day drama averted

Published

on

This day was clearly going to come. There was simply no way an $18 million dollar lawsuit could ever get in the way of a $300 million dollar racing circuit.

Sure, drama is good for newspaper stories and Tavo Hellmund’s lawsuit delivered on that, but in the end no one wanted to go to court Monday and start testifying. That would be ugly and messy, and wealthy people prefer to simply pay their lawyers ungodly sums to make stuff like this go away. Ta-da!

Both sides have been talking for a week about settling the case. Finally an agreement was reached on Friday afternoon and signed last night.

In this case, the lawyers certainly made ungodly sums after doing all of the posturing one might expect.

The drama between Tavo Hellmund, the man responsible for getting Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, a close family friend, to even consider bringing a race here and Bobby Epstein, the man who made the money work and built the track, is well documented. Epstein is chairman and co-founder of COTA.

Last fall, Hellmund fell out of favor, and disappeared from the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) inner circle. The break-up was ugly and dramatic and nearly killed Austin’s shot at hosting the United States Grand Prix.

After some initial hemming and hawing, Hellmund and his company, Full Throttle Productions, filed a lawsuit claiming he was owed $18 million dollars as a payout for leaving COTA. COTA on the other hand claimed Hellmund pretty much stopped showing up for work and began trying to get inside of a new competing New York Formula 1 race. Further, COTA claimed none of it mattered anyway because any claim needed to be worked out in arbitration, not in the courts.

Both sides prepared for a two-day court hearing on Monday, June 11. Anyone who follows legal wrangling like this knew that hearing would be unlikely, and here we are.

The settlement is sealed of course, so we won’t know whether Hellmund’s payout is closer to $18 million or to $0, but he will get some significant cash out of this as he should, although he also certainly will no longer be a shareholder in COTA. It was Hellmund who brought the Formula 1 vision to Austin, even if he’s not the guy who eventually made it happen.

That distinction belongs to Epstein, Red McCombs and newly-added investor John Paul Dejoria (of Paul Mitchell and Patron Tequila). Dejoria is a player. He has ties to motor sports, his daughter is a drag racer and he knows marketing and promotion — he might be the best in the world at it. He also brings really, really deep pockets and, of course, tequila. Any guess what brand tequila Bernie and the boys will be drinking in the suite?

There is more to come from COTA as they begin ramping up their promotional efforts to get tickets sold beginning Sunday, June 10 in anticipation of the race November 18, 2012.

Source: Austin.culturemap
Images © Circuit of the Americas/Austin.culturemap


All material and photos are copyrighted material and owned by their respective owners. Use or depiction of images or trademarks throughout this website is for illustrative and editorial purposes only.Images come courtesy of; ferrari.com, mclaren.com, Sahara forceindiaf1.com, redbull.com, mercedesgp.com, Caterham F1, toyota, Sauber, williamsf1, lotus, Marussia, HRT, Daylife.com, getty Images/LAT and AP Photos.


http://www.formula1onlive.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
Comments

Latest Results




Latest F1 News

2018 F12 days ago

I can still become world champion with my own power – Vettel

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the highly influential Italian sports daily, Sebastian Vettel said “Ciao Mondiali” to his hopes...

2018 F13 days ago

Vettel misses Schumacher amid 2018 F1 struggle

Sebastian Vettel thinks he would benefit from the advice of his old friend and mentor Michael Schumacher. One analysis of...

2018 F14 days ago

Verstappen says Red Bull never considered deal with Alonso

Max Verstappen says Red Bull never considered signing up Fernando Alonso for 2019. That is despite the fact that, recently,...

2018 F14 days ago

Honda poised to overtake Renault for power

Honda could be poised to overtake Renault and cease having the least powerful engine in F1. Auto Motor und Sport...

2018 F16 days ago

Pascal Wehrlein on pole for 2019 Toro Rosso race seat

Pascal Wehrlein has emerged as a top candidate to return to F1 next year. Just days ago, Mercedes admitted that...

2018 F16 days ago

I’ll be with Force India until the end of 2018 – Ocon

Esteban Ocon says he should keep his Force India cockpit for the rest of the 2018 season. Earlier, there was...

2018 F16 days ago

FIA clears legality of Ferrari’s camera-blocking ‘fan’

F1’s governing body has cleared Ferrari to keep using a controversial airbox fan. In the Singapore pits, the Italian team...

2018 F17 days ago

Ricciardo is worth top dollar – Alain Prost

Paying the big bucks for Daniel Ricciardo is an expense that Renault can fully justify. That is the view of...

2018 F17 days ago

Vettel feeling pressure of 2018 F1 title battle – Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel often struggles with pressure. That is the view of Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s famous technical boss who penned...

2018 F17 days ago

Red Bull excluding Ricciardo from meetings

Daniel Ricciardo is set to be given the cold shoulder by Red Bull. The Australian is moving from the energy...




Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media